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I had not planned to quote The Diary of Samuel Pepys, because it is so well known, but several people told me he should by no means be left out. His account is remarkable, because in spite of living through an epidemic which is estimated to have killed as many as 100 000 people outContinue reading “Samuel Pepys – The Great Plague London 1665”
For millennia, leprosy was one of the most feared diseases, but also one of the most mysterious, in part because any one of a range of skin complaints may have been mistakenly identified as leprosy. It was believed to be highly contagious, hence lepers being exiled from their communities. But it also had aContinue reading “Leprosy”
tsuyu no yo watsuyu no yo nagarasari nagara This world of dewis truly a world of dew,and yet…and yet…. This poem was written by Issa, one of the greatest of the haiku poets, on the death of his little daughter. Issa’s life was a long series of tragedies, rarely referred to directly in his poetry.Continue reading “Japan – Smallpox – 735-7 A.D. and after”
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